The reality of the police is, of course, that they’re flawed human beings just like the rest of us, and like the rest of us they are the product of their environments, and their attitudes reflect their position and status in society.What’s interesting is how often the presupposed higher morality of the policeman is unconsciously contrasted with actions which would put them beyond the pale of they didn’t ‘carry a badge’.
Extraordinarily unextraordinary, she is simply competent at her job, fond of her husband, polite to her colleagues, etc. This is part of why it’s actually quite a confrontational film.
Moreover, she is vulnerable to the frailties of the flesh in ways that we real people know full well (even if we don’t all know what it’s like to be pregnant) but to which movie people routinely display superhuman indifference. It champions resolutely unglamorous, unexciting virtues which also flirt with being faults such as lack of imagination, conventionality, etc.
it is one of those police procedurals in which we, the audience, see every detail of the crime, and know ‘whodunnit’ before the detective, and get to watch the detective figure it out. On the contrary, it emphasizes her basic competence over the routine incompetence of one of her colleagues.
But whereas Columbo is a classical detective in other respects - he’s near-supernaturally insightful, always one jump ahead - Marge Gunderson is hardly a detective at all. In other respects, she doesn’t distinguish herself.
and yet they also want to mythologise the great mass of the population (upon whom, of course, the maintenance and continuance and reproduction of society depends) as folksy heroes possessed of lashings of downhome wisdom, etc There is a fundamental incoherence in modern conservative discourse… - there’s barely any to be found anywhere in any of it!
) …to do with the performative and rhetorical lip-service paid to admiration for the values of ‘ordinary people’, which clashes with the basic and foundational assumption of modern conservatism that the natural state of humanity is competition and predation, for man to feed upon man like monsters of the deep.
There’s a very good reason for this skewed perspective: these are the people that conservative movements depend on in order to mobilise enough petit-bourgeois ressentimentality to get themselves a power base.
These are the people are who are privileged by bourgeois society without actually being members of the ruling class.
In reaction, here are some thoughts of my own., go see it, because the following piece - like Matt Fraction’s - contains spoilers.
And also because it’s a really good film that everyone should see.) Formally, the film works in the same way as an episode of , i.e. There is a famous bit where she corrects another officer’s mistake (the “I’m not sure I agree with you 100% on your police work there Lou” bit) but it isn’t played to emphasize her special abilities.
This incoherence is not a problem for them (if they worried about consistency they wouldn’t be who they are), and is an unavoidable product of the tactical syncresis of populism and neoliberalism which is constitutive of modern conservatism…